"Let machinery fake my place, who has time to chase. Digital is where it is. Love can always be replaced. Welcome to my consciousness. Welcome to our race. Everything is never quite enough."
Everything (is never quite enough)... Diop, Wasis
"The memories of Mr. Yuy have been uploaded, program set Darkness, journey 1."
"Darkness? Why do I have a feeling he was right and that this isn't going to be fun for me."
"Open VR unit 2, setup."
"Fina, if... it's too much, release me."
"Yes Mr. Maxwell."
Sounds, that's what a blind man becomes aware of. Every sound there is to be heard is treasured. It's all there is, then comes touch. Touch is much nicer, silky, soft, hard. Smells, those were important too, bad, good, it didn't matter. Anything was acceptable without sight. And finally, taste, the flavor of something sour on my tongue. The taste of bitterness, that's what comes from missing one of those important senses.
"Do you think that's right?"
"He's flawed, useless."
"It's too late, he's alive, we cannot delete him now."
"Then let him do what he will. He is not our responsibility."
A soft touch on my face, a murmur against my cheek. "Be well little one, it will be lonely for you."
And this was Heero Yuy's first memory, the sense of loneliness, of being wrong somehow. He'd never belonged even in the beginning, when all children are the same, he'd been different. There was one thing he'd liked though, in those first years. His wings were strong, his body as well built as the next, he was healthy, and he loved his computer.
On warm nights, snuggled down inside of the crèche with the other children, he'd dream of his computer, of the things it had to teach him. He liked that it never treated him differently from the other children, never said he was flawed, never got that tone in it's voice, that tone of disgust for something less than perfect.
It's voice to him was sweet and melodic. And Heero Yuy learned. By the time he was 5 years old he was programming it, making it more human, a friend, one of the only ones that didn't mind his blindness.
When he was 7, they tried to give him the eyes. A day of surgery, a day of partial sight, and then, his body rejected them, the Steelshift violently reacting against this intrusion of man, despite the fact that the alloy itself was manmade. Testing with it was still too experimental to understand why it would not merge with outside additives that were not related to its own elements.
"We're sorry, it won't stay, you will have to remain blind."
"You don't really care." I'd said in a harsh voice. My head ached, the empty sockets feeling emptier then ever, no sight, and no respite for me.
"We have tried to help you, there is nothing more we can do for you."
"You didn't try hard enough, leave me alone." Footsteps leaving, I couldn't even cry, no eyes, no tears. Maybe it was a blessing after all.
"I can help you."
"How? What can you do?"
"I can give me my eyes Mr. Yuy."
And it was at the age of 14 that Fina gave me sight. It was illegal to do it, to connect to her that way. They won't allow it, there's too much of a risk of creating artificial intelligence in the merging of a human mind with that of a computer. But we did it, the operation is simple, VR the doorway that opens up the paths.
"What do you see Mr. Yuy?"
"Everything Fina, everything."
"He's beautiful Fina."
"So much pain, not my childhood to be sure. Yet he survived it somehow, triumphed over it. Call him Fina, I need to meet him again."
I turned to face one of the cameras, absently wiping the tears from my eyes, my eyes, at least I had some.
"Heero, meet with me, program set Rainbow, journey 9."
I waited, sitting on a cloud. Below me was empty air and rainbows as far as the eye could see. Now I appreciated the beauty of it more than I ever had before. The crystal refractions of light, as the suns shone upon the scattered raindrops. This world existed somewhere, Planet Kiyla, no human could survive on it though, the atmosphere was too loaded with radiation.
I turned and smiled, offering my hand to Heero as he appeared beside me. "I thought you might like it."
"You've experienced my memories, haven't you?"
"Do you think less of me now?"
"No, of course not." I tugged on his hand, pulling him down to sit beside me, our legs dangling over the edge of the solid cloud.
"I've experienced your memories as well." He said softly, rubbing my hand in his.
"Then you know now."
We sat in silence, watching the rainbows, the drifting clouds, the shifting raindrops spattering around us in the sunlight. "Do you still want to be mated to me Heero?"
"Of course, you're still the perfect match, despite... "
"Despite the fact that I'm going to die?"
"Everyone dies Duo." He said, squeezing my hand, pulling me closer until I lay with my head on his chest, listening to the soft thumping of his heart.
"Yes, they do, don't they?" I whispered, unable to cry for myself. Death was something I'd known my entire life. I'd been slated to die since the day I was born. It was merely; that most people had more of a chance with life, most people didn't know the day they would die.
"Isn't it strange, how in a civilization like our own, they still create flaws like us?"
"Do you really believe *we* are the flaws Heero?"
He smiled; I could feel it in the curve of his mouth as his lips gently moved against my forehead. A soft whisper. "No, you were right Duo. We're not the flawed ones, they are."
When I turned my face up to his, he bent down, lips meeting my own in a kiss. But this kiss was different then the ones before, there was a meaning behind it; a merging that had not been there previously.
The drops of rain sprinkled onto my upturned face, rainbows dancing behind my closed eyelids. I felt those long fingered hands caress my cheek, slide down my neck, one moving to push us closer, and the other lightly gripping my side. His wings unfurled around us, casting a shade over our bodies as we slowly kissed.
"Heero, come meet me in the outside world."
Another kiss, and his mouth nudged open my own, tongue sliding soft and warm against mine. It was answer enough for the moment. My fingers moved up, burying themselves inside his hair, pulling our faces closer, I could feel the steady heat building inside of me, that warmth that spread out from wherever his skin met my own. Thoughts merged inside my head, confusing and intensifying my emotions. I shifted slightly, moving onto his lap, wrapping my fingers more firmly within his hair. I felt the gentle brush of warm wings against my arms, and smiled at the sensation.
But I wanted more than kisses this time, I wanted, something more, I could not voice what it was, I just knew, there was something more we could share, something brighter and more extreme then this merging of mouths. As this thought floated through my mind, so Heero's hands drifted, sliding down my back to cup me and lift me closer, until I knelt with my legs spread on either side of his.
A shock went through me then, the raw sensation of his naked and aroused body meeting mine, the kiss becoming rougher, matching the sudden jolt that electrified me. If I had been able to voice what I wanted, I would have. But I soon found there was no need to say aloud what I craved, he already knew. Those strong hands lifting me, turning me in place, lips suddenly cold as we parted from our kiss.
Though my eyes remained heavy with lust, I opened them enough to see the vista spread below and around us, rainbows and rain. I turned my head up, looking at his silvery wings spread over us, reaching up to touch one of them, so smooth and warm, alive.
His hands slid down my stomach, one pulling my hips back, so that I could feel his hard sex rubbing against me from behind. The other hand sliding over my own arousal, light caresses that drew madness. My mouth opened, eyes closing again, my hand still reaching for those wings stretched above before it fell, grasping his arm as it began a slow, methodical pumping.
It felt so good, so much better then I thought it could or would, someone else touching my body. Unconsciously I began rocking against him, my head falling onto his shoulder, hands loosely clasped around his.
"Do you like this?" He whispered next to my ear, his hand tightening, the strokes becoming firmer, a brief rub of his thumb over the head of my arousal making me quiver with need.
"There's more." He said, chuckling into my hair, his hand beginning to move faster, matching my breathing.
I couldn't respond, the contractions that had begun in my abdomen moving lower, the feeling becoming overwhelming. His hand was my world at that point, everything funneling down into the sensation of his body pressed against me from behind, wrapped around me and pulling from me passion I didn't know existed.
"Why are you crying?"
"It feels... feels so good... "
"Let it out Duo, let go."
And I did, my head snapping back, mouth opening wide to let out a scream of rapture as I spilled onto his hand. I felt him stiffen behind me, a soft gasp against my neck as liquid heat and warmth splashed against my back and rear, trickling down between us.
We stayed like that, silent except for our breathing, after a while he moved, turning me just enough to kiss me again.
"Be with me when I die Heero."
"I wouldn't be any where else."
Transpod: A dimensional traveling device. The transpod will transport human mass within any area that contains another transpod. The time taken for each journey will always be exactly 10 nanoseconds, as time is folded as well as matter to create no ripple within the dimensions.
Slosta: A drink created from organic matter grown on Jilad, the Slosta is filled with nutrients that heighten awareness and energize.
CR chips: Two microchips implanted behind the ears, the connectors that allow a direct linkage to the VR modules.
Shinalp: A form of cursing, Shinalp is somewhat akin to saying "shit" or "ah shit"
Kajacrap: The Kaja is a life form located on the planet Neskin, a large beast known to produce huge amounts of feces. The phrase kajacrap is akin to saying "Bullshit"
Fliogan Warriors: The Fliogan is a race that attaches metallic wings to their young while they are still being formed within the incubators. The wings are partially organic, fusing with the young so as to become part of their bodies. This warrior race is known to be extremely high tech, and very vicious, most normal humans will not go near them, as they are known to kill without reason. Very little is known of the Fliogan or their ways.
Feed Tubes: Connectors that feed information and nutrients to any life form connected to any long-term device.
Lavablue 6: The planet on which the society of Fliogan reside at this time.
Levels: Technological knowledge is rated by level; most societies only have an average of 30 levels. The common level of most humans is 5, techmaster levels tend to be higher and in the upper ranges.
Steelshift: 1 of over a million different charted elements, Steelshift is partially organic, allowing it to be integrated with human DNA, testing is still in experimental stages, most distinguished users of this element are the Fliogan.
Slipshot Diskwings: A style of wing known to be common among the Fliogan, Slipshot defines the integration of movable parts, Diskwing is the style of the small circular patterns of metal that form the wings of Fliogan.
Contract: A contract is a more binding way to say, "Promise or swear?"
Optilenses: Cyber optic lenses, which can be used during a VR program only.
Creos: The original form of the name Christ has changed with the passage of time, modern form of the word when used as a curse is Creos.
Orstras: A plant matter grown in dark caves on the planet of Trinition, considered a delicacy on most planets, the plant is dark purple with small white bells that can be plucked and cooked. The taste is said to be sweet and delicate.
Realtime Call: The difference between a realtime call and a regular call is in the distance, all realtime calls infer off planet residence of the caller, communications run at high speeds, face to face talking is still difficult between planets.
What is your task: This is the way most people will ask what your job is, what career you're in.
Crèche Technician: Most people are born to the incubators and raised in crèches, the technicians help care for the many children being raised in such places.
Grower: The still forming body of a child within the incubator, a delicate time that must be carefully overseen to prevent accidents. A grower is usually designated as a child in a womb-like state. Between –1 to –9 months, or the time a child would be inside of a mother's body.
Youlin: I manmade mammalian life form, these animals are specifically created to improve the technology behind cloning. Most tests are performed with a small VR module; with which the creatures are filled with the only knowledge they know, as the Youlin is created with a blank slate for a mind.
A Set: A group of Growers that have reached maturity.
Trance state: Every few months of a citizen's life is recorded during REM cycles, the consciousness is stored within a neural processor called a memory chip. Occasionally when one wishes to know another, an exchange of such chips may occur.